For a person who hates math and numbers, I sure do a lot of counting. If you hate figures as much as I do, don't worry, this post isn't about math at all.
Please allow me to start counting the number of years I've been "the Beadlady". It's been eight years since I rediscovered beading as a hobby. Seven years since I started selling my trinkets to my classmates. Six since I started selling online through ebay.ph and the Girltalk forum of Femalenetwork.com. Five since I started my beadlady.multiply.com account. Four since I graduated college and started a dream job in a magazine. And three since I quit the dream job and started crafting for a living.
Last month I celebrated two huge anniversaries. I would not have come this far without the help and support of my family and friends, and without the trust and patronage of my clients and students. As much as I would like to count the people who have helped me in ways big or small, there won't be enough space in this blog, or cheese and goo in the world, to thank each and everyone who has helped me through the years. I've said it again and again, I would not be here without you. If you've ever bought from me, sent me an email to tell me you like my work, wrote about me in your article or blog, recommended me to your friends, lent me some money (hehe), helped me in a bazaar or even just said hi at the bazaar, enrolled in one of my class, etc. etc: THANK YOU.
I believe in paying it forward, so let me do a different kind of counting: I want to make my actions count. In the text below my profile picture on the right column of this blog, I wrote "changing the world one bead at a time". Cheesy, I know; but I mean it. I want to make a mark in the lives of the students I teach, by guiding them properly as they start their own handmade journey. I want my work and my story to inspire others, as others have inspired me before. I want to make a difference in the community.
You might say that arts and crafts is just a hobby. You might argue that there are better ways to make an impact. But arts and crafts isn't just something you do in your free time. It is an opportunity to teach people a skill they can use to make a living with. It is a chance to give people the power to change the way they impact the environment.
I have chosen my campaign, my vocation, my own little way of making an impact. I have chosen to become a teacher of crafts, a writer of the handmade way of life.
I hope in this little way, I start counting.
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